August 28, 2023
Climate activists target jets, yachts and golf in a string of global protests against luxury
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Climate activism has intensified in the past few years as the planet warms to dangerous levels, igniting more extreme heat, floods, storms and wildfires around the world. Tactics have been getting more radical, and activists are now turning their attention to the wealthy, after long targeting some of the world’s most profitable companies – oil and gas conglomerates, banks and insurance firms that continue to invest in fossil fuels.
Workers exposed to extreme heat have no consistent protection in the US
RENO, Nev. (AP) — State and federal agencies are scrambling to find measures to combat what experts call one of the harshest and most neglected effects of climate change in the U.S.: rising heat deaths and injuries of people who work in triple-digit temperatures. State and federal governments have long implemented federal procedures for environmental risks exacerbated by climate change, namely drought, flood and wildfires. But extreme heat protections for workers have generally lagged. Complicating attempts to address the issue is the absence of one national standard for measuring heat deaths in the U.S.
US, China agree to discuss export controls as commerce secretary visits to warm up chilly ties
BEIJING (AP) — Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo says she and her Chinese counterpart agreed to exchange information on U.S. export controls that irk Beijing and set up a group to discuss other commercial issues. But neither side appeared ready to make major concessions on disputes that have plunged relations to their lowest level in decades. Raimondo joined American officials including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in July who have visited China in the past three months in hopes of reviving chilly relations. Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s government wants to revive foreign investor interest in China as it tries to reverse a deepening economic slump.
How PayPal is using AI to combat fraud, and make it easier to pay
NEW YORK (AP) — Artificial intelligence has been the buzzword of 2023 ever since ChatGPT made its public debut earlier this year, with businesses, schools, universities and even non-profits looking for ways to integrate AI in their operations. John Kim, chief product officer for PayPal, spoke with The Associated Press about how the company is using the early proliferation of artificial intelligence technologies in its business, as well as PayPal’s future in payments when there’s so much competition. Kim say PayPal plans on launching three new products with ties to AI in the next 120 days.
‘Gran Turismo’ takes weekend box office crown over ‘Barbie’ after all
The box office results are in and Sony’s racing movie “Gran Turismo” won the weekend over “Barbie” after all. On Sunday, “Gran Turismo” appeared to be neck-and-neck with “Barbie,” with both hovering just over $17 million. But Monday actuals reported by the studios provided a clear winner. “Gran Turismo” ended up with $17.4 million from North American theaters against “Barbie’s” $15.1 million. It was an unusual weekend in multiplexes. U.S. movie theaters held the second annual National Cinema Day on Sunday, offering $4 tickets. This might have been part of the reason why the Sunday estimate for “Barbie” was perhaps a bit too bullish.
Biden’s commerce secretary is the latest Cabinet member to visit China in a bid for improved ties
WASHINGTON (AP) — Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is the latest member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet to visit China as his administration tries to mend the deteriorating ties between the world’s two largest economies. She promises to be “practical” without compromising the U.S. push to “responsibly” manage that economic relationship. Raimondo plans meetings with Chinese officials and U.S. business leaders in Beijing and Shanghai in an effort to “promote a healthy competition, a competition on a level playing field, playing by the rules.” She told reporters before leaving Washington on Saturday that she also is “very realistic and clear-eyed about the challenges. And the challenges are significant.”
German rail workers vote against open-ended strikes, accepting a pay offer and inflation bonus
BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s rail workers will not go on open-ended strikes after less than 50% of union members voted for all-out strike action. A vote of 75% in favor would have been necessary. The ballot was preceded by months of so-called “warning strikes,” lasting for hours or days, a common tactic in German wage negotiations. The German news agency dpa says a majority of workers also voted in favor of an offer from arbitration. Under the compromise deal, workers will receive a pay increase of 410 euros a month in two stages over 25 months. They’ll also receive an inflation compensation bonus of 2,850 euros in October.
Stock market today: Wall Street gains ahead of busy week of closely-watched economic reports
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising on Wall Street as markets shift their attention from the Federal Reserve to more corporate earnings and economic reports. The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in morning trading Monday. The Dow rose 172 points, or 0.5%, and the Nasdaq composite added 0.5%. U.S. stocks broke a three-week losing streak last week as investors appeared relieved that Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank would “proceed carefully” on interest rates. 3M jumped following reports that the company had agreed to a $5.5 billion settlement over faulty earplugs, a lower figure than expected.
Global inflation pressures could become harder to manage in coming years, research suggests
JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (AP) — Rising trade barriers. Aging populations. A transition from carbon-spewing fossil fuels to renewable energy. The prevalence of such trends across the world could intensify global inflation pressures in the coming years and make it harder for central banks to meet their inflation targets. That concern was a theme sounded in several high-profile speeches and economic studies presented at the Federal Reserve’s annual conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For decades, the global economy had been moving toward greater integration, with goods flowing more freely between the United States and its trading partners. Since the pandemic, though, that trend has shown signs of reversing. Multinational corporations have been shifting their supply chains away from China.
Economy’s solid growth could require more Fed hikes to fight inflation, Powell says at Jackson Hole
JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (AP) — The continued strength of the U.S. economy could require further interest rate increases, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in a closely watched speech that also highlighted the uncertain nature of the economic outlook. Powell noted that the economy has been growing faster than expected and that consumers have kept spending briskly — trends that could keep inflation pressures high. Speaking at an annual conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Powell reiterated the Fed’s determination to keep its benchmark rate elevated until inflation is reduced to its 2% target. “Although inflation has moved down from its peak — a welcome development — it remains too high,” he said.